Dons play defending two-time CIF champions tough

Santa Barbara’s young tennis team gave two-time defending champion Campbell Hall a good battle in a 13-5 loss on Tuesday at the Dons’ courts.

“They’re really a top-notch team,” Santa Barbara coach Steve Geremia said of Campbell Hall, which has won the last two CIF-SS Division 1 titles. “Our girls are young and they played really well. It was a very close, very competitive match. It was a lot closer than you might think.”

Despite the score, the Dons didn’t go down without a fight.

“We had a couple of match points that we couldn’t pull off and there were a couple of sets that went to tiebreakers. There were four sets that could have gone either way,” Geremia said. “I’m pretty pleased when you consider how many underclassmen we had playing.”

The Dons did well in doubles, winning four sets. The No. 1 team of Megan Grant-Madison Hale had the best day, going 2-1. Their lone defeat came against Alexis Pereira and Valerie Thong. Thong is a two-time CIF doubles champion.

In singles, Zoe Katz (a two-time CIF champion with Thong) and Alyza Benotto, helped Campbell build a big lead by going 3-0 in singles.

Aurora Garrison got the lone set win in singles for the Dons.

Geremia moved players around against Campbell Hall. Senior Taryn Mjelde played singles on Wednesday.

“We’re searching for the best lineup and we don’t have an idea of what that is at this point,” Geremia said.

Santa Barbara’s Thursday match with Beverly Hills was canceled. The Dons return to action Tuesday at home against Harvard Westlake.

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